Posts

July 08, 2014

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1:08 AM | Regulators mount up: raw milk producers aim to regulate themselves
I don’t care who does the regulating as long as the data is public, verifiable and producers are liable. There are benefits and faults with the many systems out there that could be largely remedied with public access to data … Continue reading →
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12:43 AM | I didn’t poop in public but camera says I did: acute gastroenteritis and video camera surveillance on a cruise ship
Researchers in Norway report that a fecal accident was discovered in front of a passenger cabin of a cruise ship. After proper cleaning of the area the passenger was approached, but denied having any gastrointestinal symptoms. However, when confronted with … Continue reading →
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12:33 AM | Diet alert for mums-to-be
Whenever I get a chance to expound, I always put a plug in for Listeria, and the havoc it can wreck in pregnant mothers. Last year in New Zealand, five women between 23 and 36 weeks pregnant were struck down … Continue reading →

July 07, 2014

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11:34 PM | BacterioFiles 173 - Illuminated Invader Inhibits Irritation
This episode: Virus helps to modify mice such that certain colors of light can cause or prevent pain! Download Episode (10 MB, 10.8 minutes)Show notes:Journal Paper Other interesting stories: Ocean bacteria give off gas that makes clouds Killing cancer with virus plus releasing immune system's brakes Helping bacteria clean up oil spills Microbes can make scents and flavors more sustainably Fungi are important for carbon stored in or released from soils too Post questions or comments here […]
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10:30 PM | Can cancer be contagious?
I doubt that many people would expect to be reading about cancer in an infectious disease blog, and yet here you are. Could it really be that I’m about to tell you that cancer, one of the most feared diseases in the developed world, can be contagious? The answer is yes. That said, you don’t […]
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8:30 PM | Could magnetic bacteria be the next generation of microbots?
The cutting edge of robotics may not be a smarter Siri or a less-creepy humanoid Japanese robot. It might be a swarm of bacteria, compelled to do our bidding through a remotely controlled magnetic field. Some of the biggest technological advances of the past two decades have involved scaling things down. The development and continual…
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8:17 PM | Have Your Say on the Future of European Science
The European Commission has today launched a public consultation on ‘Science 2.0’, in order to gauge the trend towards a more open, data-driven and people-focused way of doing research and innovation. Researchers are using digital tools to get thousands of people participating in research, for example by asking them to report if they catch flu […]
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6:05 PM | Democratizing the Study of Ants
Across the world, ants are among the first animals children learn to recognize. They are diverse, abundant, and ecologically important from the tops of canopy trees to the soil underfoot and from tropical rainforests to deserts and even backyards and playgrounds. It may surprise you, then, to hear that we know very little about even the identity of those ant species that live closest to us – those sharing our cities and eating our discarded food. As a scientist, I’m fascinated about […]
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3:26 PM | Saudi MOH Announces 3 New MERS Cases
Saudi Arabia   # 8810   Over the past two weeks we’ve only seen a total of 10 new cases of MERS reported out of Saudi Arabia, but today the MOH has reported three new cases.   We’ll  have to wait to see if this indicates any kind of trend.    
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2:57 PM | WHO Update: Influenza at the human-animal interface (H5N1)
  # 8809   Although the recently emerged, and more active, H7N9 virus has captured most of our avian flu attention over the past 16 months, the H5N1 virus continues to circulate – and evolve – in wild birds and poultry in many parts of Asia and the Middle East.    The World Health Organization - which provides monthly summaries of human cases – has recently published the following update which includes two human infections reported in […]
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1:12 PM | Washington pet shop owner goes on month-long pet food diet
We’re dog sitting for a neighbor this week which has added excitement to our house. Between poop scooping, counter surfing and face licking we’re also trying to teach the kids about the trade-offs of a pet. Dogs are great companions … Continue reading →
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12:48 PM | Festival vendors need food safety too
Back before kids, Dani and I lived in Kansas for a few months and spent every weekend traveling around the state looking for quirky stuff to do and see. And fried chicken. The quest for festivals and attractions took us … Continue reading →
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12:17 PM | Despite Crackdown, `Wild Flavor’ Trade Continues In China
Chinese Pangolin, an endangered delicacy – Credit Wikpedia   # 8808   Last week Chinese scientists announced the discovery of a `SARS-like’  coronavirus in bats examined in China’s Southern Yunnan province, one they said was a `relative’ of the 2003 epidemic strain, and one that could infect humans (see People’s Daily Online Chinese scientists find new SAR-like coronavirus).   Given the large number of viruses known to be carried by […]
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11:00 AM | Plant Pathogen Silences Host’s Immune Genes
by S. Marvin Friedman | As more and more information becomes available, one marvels (and also frets) at the sophisticated strategies that pathogens have evolved in order to evade their hosts’ defense mechanisms. Many pathogens of plants and animals deliver effectors into their hosts in order to suppress immune responses. To date, the vast majority of…

July 06, 2014

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11:09 PM | Rot, corruption at Thai rice warehouses
Inspectors found rotten and weevil-infested grain, along with evidence that large stocks were replaced with old or inferior grades. Corruption under the previous government’s rice-pledging scheme was one of the main reasons for the May 22 coup d’etat. The chairman … Continue reading →
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11:02 PM | ‘Feels like you’re going to die’ BC couple on norovirus cruise demand refund
A couple from Victoria, British Columbia (that’s in Canada) are demanding a full refund after enduring what they say was a nightmare cruise ship vacation. Wally and Diane King embarked on Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas last January. Norovirus struck on … Continue reading →
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10:48 PM | Tea towels should only be used once, then washed?
Never be anywhere without a towel. A tea towel (or dish towel). But do I need 50 clean ones a day? New South Wales Food Authority chief scientist Lisa Szabo said last week that, “Tea towels should be replaced after … Continue reading →
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9:52 PM | Celebrating Native Bees
As you were enjoying celebrations this July 4th weekend, you may have noticed many bees flying around your yard or neighborhood park, pollinating flowers and vegetables. As I earlier shared here on the Your Wild Life blog, I am researching many of these native bees in urban areas. Specifically, I am studying how temperature influences the native bee community in Raleigh. In some areas, I put up bundles of bamboo to sample which bees will nest there. Most bees are solitary, unlike honey bees or […]
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8:43 PM | TWiV 292: Medimmune goes viral
On episode #292 of the science show This Week in Virology, Vincent visits Medimmune and speaks with Wade, Matt, Nicole, and Ken about why they work in industry and their daily roles in a biotechnology company. You can find TWiV #292 at www.twiv.tv.
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6:57 PM | It's been a while!
The last time I posted on MicroMicrobe was over six months ago - I can’t believe how quick time flies!  I’ve recently been getting more involved in STEM communication, and last week I took part in a fantastic online science outreach event called “I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here" -which takes place three times a year. Scientists interact with students online through answering questions and live chats in a Facebook messenger style. The students can vote […]
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11:44 AM | EID Journal: New Introductions Of EV-71 Subtype C4 To France – 2012
Photo Credit University of Iowa   # 8807   Human Enterovirus 71 (EV-71) – which is most often reported in Asia and the Western Pacific region - is one of more than 60 non-polio enteroviruses (NPEVs) known to cause cause human illness, and that primarily affect children under the age of 10.   While EV-71 is most frequently linked to severe outbreaks of HFMD (Hand, Foot, & Mouth Disease), it is also capable of producing serious neurological illnesses – […]

July 05, 2014

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12:07 PM | EID Journal: Shelter Dogs as Sentinels for Trypanosoma cruzi – Texas
# 8806   Chagas disease – caused by infection with Trypanosoma cruzi - is one of five parasitic diseases that have been declared by the CDC as being   important Neglected Parasitic Infections in the United States.  The other four are Cysticercosis, Toxoplasmosis, Toxocariasis, and Trichomoniasis.   The parasite - Trypanosoma cruzi – is vectored by  an infected triatomine bug (or "kissing bug"), an insect that takes blood meals from both […]
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4:48 AM | Anthrax in beef hospitalizes five in Hungary
An infection of deadly anthrax has been identified in beef in eastern Hungary and five people are being monitored in hospital for suspected symptoms of the disease, the country’s health authority said Friday. It said the disease was identified in … Continue reading →
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2:49 AM | IBM, others to help public health officials improve food safety
I normally don’t run company press releases because they are long on possibilities and short on actualities. But this one may have some public health benefit. And was published in a journal. Using novel algorithms, visualization, and statistical techniques, a … Continue reading →
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1:06 AM | The value of influenza aerosol transmission experiments
A Harvard epidemiologist has been on a crusade to curtail aerosol transmission experiments on avian influenza H5N1 virus because he believes that they are too dangerous and of little value. Recently he has taken his arguments to the Op-Ed pages of the New York Times. While Dr. Lipsitch is certainly entitled to his opinion, his arguments […]

July 04, 2014

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11:07 PM | Holiday hot pot with chicken linked to Campylobacter spike in Switzerland
In Switzerland, 7,000-8,000 people fall ill with a Campylobacter infection annually. An increase of campylobacteriosis case numbers is being observed throughout Europe. Human cases of campylobacteriosis must be reported to the relevant authorities in Switzerland. In Switzerland, an unusual increase … Continue reading →
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6:06 PM | Before They Were Scientists: Bill Grant
Dr. Bill Grant doesn’t have any pictures from middle school, but he did save his senior yearbook and some assorted photos from his childhood home. This interview is special for many reasons, but particularly for its timing. On July 1st, 2014 Dr. Grant celebrated his 40 year anniversary as a member of the North Carolina State University faculty. During his interview, we talked about much more than middle school, especially how his career has been shaped by special research opportunities as […]
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1:48 PM | Have a Happy and Bioluminescent 4th of July!
You know, I keep meaning to post more often to this blog.  But, as John Lennon famously observed, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."  So I will try to do better.  I have several interesting posts cooking, to keep readers up to date.  Hard to say how often people read these posts, but they have some value for me at least (in getting my thoughts down and events remembered).  Thus, onward and upward...But today is the 4th of July, a mixture […]
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11:42 AM | UK PHE Reports Imported Case Of CCHF
Photo Credit- CDC   # 8805   A recurring theme in public health is just how quickly, and easily, that `exotic’ diseases can cross vast oceans or borders, given our modern air travel industry and our penchant for international travel (see The Global Reach Of Infectious Disease).    The introduction of Chikungunya to the Caribbean last fall, and the ensuing (and ongoing) epidemic, are almost certainly the result of an infected traveler coming from an endemic […]
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10:20 AM | Food safety, Salmonella, sprouts and no, that dingo didn’t eat my baby
We used to be known as, “The no sprouts people.” If Amy or I ordered anything, we’d say, no sprouts please. We fell out of that habit because so much of foodservice in the U.S. has removed raw sprouts from … Continue reading →
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